2023 International Education Week Celebrations
|21 November, 2023
During this year's International Education Week, universities and organisations across the sector celebrated international students' valuable contributions to higher education.
The overarching theme for the week, "International Education is the Future," set the tone for various events and activities. The US Department of State, in collaboration with the Department of Education, structured daily themes for the five-day celebration.
The week started with "Open Doors to the Future," aligning with the release of Open Doors data and revealing positive news that the US hosted over a million international students last year, marking the fastest growth rate in four decades.
Subsequent daily themes included "You are the Future," which emphasises diverse opportunities in international education; "The Future is Global," exploring exchange programmes; "Innovate the Future," highlighting non-traditional learning avenues; and "Lead the Future," showcasing the transformative impact of international education.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken stressed the unique value of studying abroad, emphasising the ability to see the world from different perspectives and fostering enduring connections.
Meanwhile, the UK Council for International Student Affairs organised the UKCISA Fest, providing a platform for international students in the UK to influence policy based on their lived experiences.
Universities UK International marked the week with video releases featuring international students' perspectives, such as Shähla from Finland, who expressed her enthusiasm for studying medical physiology at the University of Leicester in the UK. The overarching message echoed the importance of international education in shaping a global future.
The Council of Europe, a prominent global human rights organisation, marked the week with the theme "Peace for the Planet. A planet of peace." This theme serves as a compelling call to collectively reconsider our world, utilising global education as a tool for solidarity and change, aiming to contribute to a more sustainable and equitable world, according to the organisation.
In the United States, various institutions contributed their own unique celebrations. The University of Denver collaborated with the US Consulate General in Mumbai to launch a project fostering increased partnerships between US and Indian higher education institutions.
Open Doors data indicated that India's international student population experienced a notable 35% year-on-year growth. Mike Hankey, US Consul General at the US Consulate in Mumbai, expressed the hope that the United States Mission in India would assist Indian educational institutions in internationalising their campuses, fostering collaborative efforts in research, tech development, and people-to-people interactions.
Virginia Commonwealth University celebrated the week with various events, including a faculty-led study abroad showcase and an international alumni meetup.
The University of Delaware organised multiple events, which featured a coffee hour hosted by Korean students and a Diwali celebration. Ravi Ammigan, the university's associate provost for international programmes, expressed anticipation for IEW as an opportunity to reflect on the remarkable global experiences both on their campus and at the numerous institutions they proudly collaborate with worldwide each year.